Thursday, 31 March 2011



The Mahavaggapali, the third book of Vinaya piTaka deals with some matters and regulations regarding to the order not dealt in the fist two books (PArAjikapAli and PAcittiyapAli). The µahAvaggapAli is made up of ten sections known as Khandhakas, opens with historical account of how the Buddha attained Supreme Enlightenment at the foot of the Bodhi tree. The ten sections (Khandhhakas) are:
1. µahAkkhakhandha – The great section
2. üposathakkhanda – The section on uposatha
3. Vassupanayikakkhandha –The section on rainy retreat
4. PAvAranakkhandha – The section on the end of rainy retreat
5. Cammakkhakhandha – The section on the use of wear
6.  Bhesajjakkhandhaka – The section on medicine
7. Kathinakkhandhaka – The section on Kathina
8. Cīvarakkhandha – The section on the use of robes
9. Campeyyakkhandha – The section on CampA
10. Kosambiyakkhandha – The section on Kosambi

      The first section continues to describe how young men of good families like Yasa sought refuge in the Buddha and embraced His Teaching. µahAvaggapAli also describes about monks who were famous disciples like Ven. Sāriputta, Ven. Moggallana, Ven.Mahākassapa Ven. Ānanda, Ven.Upāli and Ven.Angulimala, how they became members of the order. It also deals with the rules of formal admission to the order giving exact conditions to be fulfilled before any person can get the admission to the order and the procedure to be followed for each admission.

The µahAvaggapAli further deals with procedures for an üposatha meeting, the meeting of the order on every Full Moon Day and on the fourteenth or the fifteenth waning day of the Vinaya rules, are recited. Then there are rules to be practiced for rains retreat (Vassa) during the rainy season as well as those for the formal ceremony of PavaraNa concluding the rains retreat, in which a Bhikkhu invites his brethren to point out his faults in respect of what has been heard and suspected about his conducts.

      There are also rules regarding sick Bhikkhus, the use of leather for footwear and furniture, materials for robes and those regarding medicine and food. It also deals with the Kathina festivals where annual making and offering of robes take place.             

      In the entire TipiTaka we don’t find the place in which the life of the Buddha is recorded in full, in different places of Vinaya piTaka and ßutta piTaka we come across some information of the Buddha’s life in that sense the first chapter of µahAvaggapAli is very important for it records the biography of the Buddha from renunciation to first chapter of Vinaya rules.     

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